How to persevere through challenges

It’s inevitable.  You will eventually hit some rough patches in your marriage, and in your life in general.  So how do you hang on and press through those storms?  If your husband is caught in a pattern of sin against you, you will need to respectfully confront the problem.  If you guys just plain disagree on how to handle something, you’ll have to work for a compromise.  But when the situation in your marriage seems hopeless, that’s when we have to learn to persevere.

One huge key for me in terms of perseverance is reflecting on the many times in the past that God has answered my cries for help.  When I look back and take an inventory of the miracles he’s performed in my life and the times when he clearly orchestrated events…then my faith is increased.  As my faith increases, I can more easily persevere through the current crisis.  By recalling the past deeds of God in my life, I find peace knowing that He was in control then and He’s still in control now.  This is the counsel given to us in Psalm 77:11-12 “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.  I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

 One of the best ways to remember the past deeds of the Lord is to write down “God-sightings” in a journal. I have a journal filled with little notes about answered prayers or “God-wink” moments where I can see that God orchestrated something amazing in my life.  I re-read these entries several times a year, and my faith is increased once again.  As my faith in God builds, I can persevere more easily during my current trial.  Do you have a “God-sighting” journal?

— or view this topic in this 3 minute VIDEO ENCOURAGEMENT

Release your husband from his past!

Do you keep replaying your husband’s past mistakes over and over again in your mind?  Do you find yourself dwelling on how he’s disappointed you in the past?  Let it go!  Thoughts like that become toxic…to you and your marriage.  Hebrews 12:15 makes this point:  “See to it that no bitter root grows up among you to cause trouble and defile many.”  If you keep rehearsing your husband’s past failures, you will end up growing more and more resentful of your husband.  The resulting bitterness acts like poison to your own heart.  You become a dried up, miserable woman.

 Even more damage is caused when you verbalize those past mistakes to your husband.  Yet many wives do that.  They repeatedly bring up their man’s past mistakes and almost wield them as a weapon against their husband.  His heart gets sliced and diced in the process.  His heart becomes poisoned against his wife as well.

It’s time to decide to release your husband from his past failures. The Bible is pretty clear about your need to release bitterness and resentment. Ephesians 4:31 says “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger…”  So choose to exercise the same grace God has given you!!  News flash:  You’re not perfect either.  By the way, releasing your man from his past mistakes doesn’t mean you should ignore current sin.  If he is currently sinning against you, determine to respectfully confront him and work through the problem, perhaps with the help of a counselor or pastor.

What’s it like for your husband to come home to you?

Who does your husband encounter when he walks through the door at the end of the day?  Is he happy to be greeted by a warm, gentle, loving wife…or does he encounter a “drip”? Who wants to be considered a “drip”?  That’s not very flattering!  However, the Bible assigns that label to a wife who is always complaining and criticizing and arguing.  Proverbs 27:15 says “A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm.”  Uh-oh.  Could that label belong to you?

I’m not saying that you should sweep any sinful behavior by your husband under the rug.  So don’t get the wrong impression that you must never confront immoral or destructive behavior in your marriage. If your husband is engaged in a pattern of actual sin against you, follow the instructions of Jesus in Matthew 18:15-17 and seek godly counsel.   What I am saying is that we need to be careful that we don’t become a constant critic of our husband!  No man wants to come home to that.

Did you know that anonymous surveys of men reveal that most guys are actually very insecure and fear failure most every day?  What they need from their wives is encouragement, not complaints and criticism.  Make a commitment to find something good about your husband every day this week and then tell him how much you appreciate those good qualities.  Use a gentle and loving voice when you talk with him.  He will actually enjoy being around you!  Let’s be an “anti-drip”!!

— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO ENCOURAGEMENT HERE

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Rock what you’ve got, ladies!

Most women are totally insecure about their bodies.  Our thighs are too big.  Our breasts are too small.  The list of insecurities goes on and on.  The problem only gets worse after we’ve had children!  Stretch marks.  The extra poof of your abdomen that never seems to go away.  Sagging boobs after you’ve stopped breast feeding.  You know what I’m talking about!  It’s kind of difficult to feel sexy around your husband.

But I’m going to challenge you to change your outlook.  Yes, we do need to do what we can to be attractive.  If we need to drop 50 lbs, we need to work on that. If we need to exercise to tone up the flab, we need to work on that.  However, once we make a reasonable effort to look our best, our attitude changes the rest!  You’ve got to rock what you’ve got!  Think sexy!  View yourself as sexy when you’re with your husband.  Be spunky and playful and maybe even a little bit sassy with him.  Don’t be ashamed of your body.  Your confidence in who you are will be very sexy to him!  In Proverbs 23:7, the Bible says “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”  In other words, when you start viewing yourself as sexy and attractive to your husband, you will become sexy and attractive to him!

Are you familiar with the actress Queen Latifah?  She’s not thin at all.  In fact, she’s probably carrying an extra 30 or 40 lbs.  But she’s viewed as sexy because she has that feisty, confident attitude that basically says “I know I’m sexy”.  You can do it too.  Rock what you’ve got!

— or  view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO ENCOURAGEMENT HERE

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Beware of this subtle trap for wives & moms

I’m rather slow to learn some lessons in life and as a wife.  One of the things I wish I had realized earlier is that it is entirely too easy for a mom to get so focused on nurturing her children that she subconsciously pushes her husband aside.  In fact, in my first marriage, I remember thinking to myself…”My husband is an adult so he can take care of himself.  It’s my kids who really need my attention.”  Not good thinking!

Of course, moms need to take care of their children’s needs and we do need to spend time nurturing and disciplining them.  However, our children can become idols in our life. When our world revolves around our kids’ successes and failures…and on their activities and their schedule…well then we’ve made our children into idols.  When anyone or anything besides God becomes our focus in life, then it has become our idol and our god.  One of the big 10 commandments addresses this!  Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”

 One of the casualties of this idolizing of our kids is our husbands.  The bizarre thing is that the very children we were determined to protect end up severely wounded as mom and dad become distant, begin to argue, and often end up divorcing each other.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Be intentional about spending quality time with both your husband and your children.  Even more important than that, spend quality time with God.  He must truly be your number one focus in life!

— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO ENCOURAGEMENT HERE

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Don’t tolerate disrespect or abuse by husband (or anyone)!

It is not okay for your husband (or anyone) to treat you disrespectfully.  Let me just say that again.  It is not okay.  I know far too many beautiful, kind Christian women who, for some reason, allow themselves to be verbally, emotionally, or physically abused by their husbands or boyfriends.  It’s heartbreaking.  I heard yet another story from a highly-intelligent, gorgeous woman recently.  She came to me in despair, wringing her hands over her abusive situation.  Yet, she didn’t clearly see that she needed to draw a firm boundary and impose consequences on such behavior.  In her case, she needed to leave until he showed serious, sustained repentance.

Ladies, do you think God winks at a man who is abusing his wife or girlfriend?  Absolutely not.  In fact, God tells husbands they are to lay down their lives for their wives.  Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”  If your husband or boyfriend is emotionally, verbally, or physically abusing you, you need to take a stand.  If you don’t take action, you’re basically enabling his destructive behavior to continue.  Read Matthew 18:15-17 and ask God to reveal His plan for you to take a stand when someone is sinning against you.

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How a little grace could change your marriage!

I wonder what would happen if we asked God to transform our character into His character and then we actually began striving to display His character in our marriages?  I bet you tons of marriages would begin to thrive!

God describes His own character in Psalm 103:8, where the Bible says “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.”   Even just pressing into one of those 4 qualities could make a huge impact in your marriage.  What if we started displaying grace toward our men?  Grace simply means giving someone undeserved favor and loving kindness.

I’m not saying you should ignore destructive patterns of sin in your husband’s life.  However, I am recommending that we work to extend kindness to our husbands even when they’ve annoyed us or disappointed us in small ways.  In fact, what if you were to extend grace by choosing to believe that he didn’t mean to disappoint you?  What if you were to give him the benefit of the doubt?  Extending that kind of grace could change your whole attitude toward your husband…and that could dramatically improve your marriage!

— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO ENCOURAGEMENT HERE

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